Monday, August 21, 2006

A message of Hope

I started to write something earlier but it just didn't make sense so I am writing all over again. I think the things that happened to me this past days are quite exciting so the story begins.
Rain has not stopped since several days ago but life continues. Last Saturday, we were host to the opening of the Baguio-Benguet Educational Athletic League (BBEAL) and people were just everywhere. Unfortunately, I was not able to witness the event as I was involved in another activity, I was a contestant for the Impromptu Speaking Contest representing my company. There was also a debate tournament so that occupied me for the whole day. Again there were other guests and somehow it was a different atmosphere since there was practically no duty for the whole day. When I went back to barracks that night I was tired but was greeted by a pleasant surprise, I received copies of the Starfish Magazine from my friend. As I was about to sleep, so many thoughts lingered inside my head realizing that I had to do something. That something will be my blog today.
The Starfish Magazine is published by the Ayala Young Leader's Alliance. I believe the initial intention of the magazine was for it to become a mouthpiece for those who have attended the Ayala Young Leader's Congress. When I talked with my friend the last time I was in Manila, he said that it is now a magazine that aims to empower the youth. It is in fact the first magazine to become one. Just like before, it featured articles about lives of real people, going through tough circumstances and coming out of the situation better and even using their life to inspire others. I remembered something that Randy David once wrote saying something about our only hope is to cling to hope; I guess the magazine just provides hope. It highlights people, ordinary people actually, that went out of their way to do something and make a difference. In the issue I received, there was this story of a Pastor, who ran away from his hometown in Davao at 13. He met and experienced the cruelty of life finally giving up and returning home. There he met God, lived a new life and became a pastor. Now, he is a missionary in Cambodia sharing his life bringing a message of hope, a message that he learned when he was faced with difficult circumstances in his life. That is the message of the magazine... a message of HOPE.
Last year, I was part of the Academy's information drive. The goal was to advertise PMA to all places to attract prospective cadets. In the schools that I visited there were all sorts of question, questions that some may consider useless but were intriguing. I wondered why almost all of them just felt that going and surviving in PMA is hard. And then I went on to become a Squad Leader, with plebes that are young, very young if I may say. One of them was a seventeen year old from Cagayan de Oro City. Every now and then I find him at the brink of crying obviously trying his best to cope up with the difficulty he is experiencing. Then one time out of the blue, I thought of letting him see my pictures when I was a plebe. I could see how fascinated he was when he saw my pictures doing what he was doing. I told him stories of how I coped up with my own plebehood and told him that it was just a matter of time and soon everything will all be over. I guess in all this experiences, there was something that stood out, it was obviously the message of Hope. in the schools that I went to during the information drive, the students were in awe of what we were telling them yet there was this feeling that you were doing something to their spirit. I felt that as I was telling them everything about PMA, I was also giving them that hope of being someone better that who they are or being great. With my squadmate, I could sense that although he was still going through so much hardship, his spirit was renewed. Although he still cries now, you can see his enthusiasm in trying to do his best to cope up and I think it is on the belief that all will come to pass. I was being a carrier of hope.
I for one would say that I am in a position better than many people out there. I have free education, a bright career in the future and other privileges. But I also know that not many can say that about themselves. I heard of people who gave up on life (like Jopay the prostitute), people who compromised their principles because nothing good is just happening. I realized that the contribution I can do right now is to deliver the message of hope. It is a message that does not need anything but only a sincere heart that has endured the realities of life and came out a winner. I learned that the most basic thing we can do is to give out this message to renew their spirits. Each of us can do something it may be small it may be big but right now I know that the message of hope is one of it.
We will have an effect on people even without trying. I am praying that our effect will be something that will give them hope and renew their spirits.

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